Imagine a military watchtower built in Grand Central Terminal or the Piazza San Marco without the agreement of the locals. Occupier Israel has erected a steel wen of a watchtower in Damascus Gate, disfiguring the historic site, and all to police Palestinians more vigilantly. Though no one in the west says a word against it.
Category Archives: Middle East
Israeli Apartheid Week events will challenge young Jews to abandon the racism that Zionism entails. It may be upsetting to young Jews who grew up with Zionist ideals, Robert Cohen says, but they have an obligation to face these perceptions and ask, Why have we made support for Zionism and Israel the touchstone of Jewish fidelity, while calling for human rights for all has become a Jewish heresy?
On the February 5th, the Israeli High Court of Justice decided that seven structures in the village of Susiya, in the south Hebron Hills of the occupied West Bank, could be demolished by Israel without delay. These seven structures are home to 42 residents of the village, of which half are children. Susiya has become an international symbol of Palestinian villages resistance against displacement, and the villagers say more international solidarity is needed to prevent these demolitions.
The International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (IARPP), had made a plan to hold its 2019 international conference in Israel. Led by psychiatrists in East Jerusalem and the USA-Palestine Mental Health Network, an international effort is demanding the organization reconsider the site for this conference. Palestinian mental health workers who are citizens of Israel have just issued a statement in support of the protest, saying: “we were surprised to discover that IARPP chose to hold its international conference in Israel, despite its longstanding history of human rights abuses, notably the violent occupation of the West Bank and the blockade of Gaza. In our minds, not taking these ongoing assaults on Palestinian lives and human rights into account when choosing the conference location could be translated as their quiet acceptance by IARPP.”
Yesterday, Israeli police recommended indicting Benjamin Netanyahu in two separate corruption investigations that have been dogging the Prime Minister for years. Last February, Jonathan Cook wrote for Mondoweiss that the scandals “shine a rare light on the corrupt nexus between Israel’s business, political and media worlds, compounded by the perverse influence of overseas Jewish money.”
The nomination of Kenneth Marcus, President Trump’s choice for the position of Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights in the Department of Education, will go to a vote next week, and he is expected to be shooed in, on a straight party line vote. If he is confirmed, he will likely become the latest member of a growing list of politicians threatening academic freedom generally, as well our civil rights as women, immigrants, Muslims, people of color, and LGBTQ+ people. Nada Elia writes, “As more faculty, and students, come under attack, it is imperative that we grow our support networks, and that we make it clear we are many, and will not be intimidated.”
In July 2004, federal agents raided the homes of five Palestinian-American families, arresting the fathers, who had been leaders of a Texas-based charity called the Holy Land Foundation (HLF). Until 9/11, the HLF was the largest Muslim charity in the United States, but their trials resulted in very lengthy sentences for the men—for “supporting terrorism” by donating to charities in Palestine that the U.S. government itself had long worked with. The men remain in prison. Miko Peled’s new book “Injustice: The Story of the Holy Land Foundation Five” tells the story of the landmark case and the families it impacted. In this excerpt he tells the story of Shukri Abu-Baker.
Hammam Farah’s grandmother, Sura Farah, recently passed away in Gaza. He grieves the fact that he wasn’t able to be with her due to the Israeli siege: “It will be easier to see you in the afterlife than it has been in Gaza.”
Politico has turned to the Israel-adoring Foundation for Defense of Democracies to explain Palestinian politics to its influential readers. They neglect the fact that Palestinians were willing to accept a state on 22 percent of their historical lands and Israel destroyed that compromise, and Trump kicked it into the ditch, which is why Palestinians justly refuse to negotiate.
Pallywood means Palestinian propaganda, writes Sharif Elmusa in his poem of that name, and he likes the word because it hints at a light-hearted core in the west’s bleak imaginings of the Palestinians — who are supposed to be dark, not blond.
Hatim Kanaaneh writes: Haaretz has allowed an advertisement on its website in support of the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. It is a milestone event, the beginning of the swing of the pendulum away from mounting fascism and toward a less racist Israeli public opinion. It is the start of Israel’s return to sanity, slow and decades-long as it is likely to be.
Palestinian photographer Hamde Abu Rahme visits Jerusalem for the first time, and posted video: “Finally, after 30 years of waiting, I got the chance to see my beautiful capital Jerusalem, which is only a 30 minute drive from home in the West Bank town of Bil’in… It makes me sad because maybe it will be my last time or maybe I visit this place in another 30 years.”
Human rights organizations Amnesty International, B’Tselem and Human Rights Watch stopped itemizing Israeli crimes in the 2014 assault on Gaza, the worst of them all, Norman Finkelstein documents in his impassioned record of war crimes against the strip, Gaza: An Inquest Into Its Martyrdom, published by the University of California Press.
Reading JMN Jeffries’s reissued 1940 study of the Balfour Declaration, scholar Joseph Levine concludes that it is true that there are two narratives about the foundation of a Jewish state in Palestine — but only one of them, the Palestinian one, has much connection to reality.
When Issa Amro was a child, he remembers Shuhada Street in Hebron being so crowded his father had to hold his hand tightly to keep him from getting lost. Today, the street is a ghost town, due to Israeli military control to protect illegal settlers. And Amro calls for international protests for the 9th annual Open Shuhada Street day on February 25, to demand an end to apartheid
Jewish identity is fluid, writes Yaacov Yagdar. It went from being public, political and communal in ancient days to a private matter of religious belief during the Enlightenment to being based entirely today on a commitment to the Jewish people and their nation-state Israel. The last is a perversion of the modern state and an offense to traditional Judaism in its treatment of its non-Jewish citizens.
The money the US gives to UNRWA is not ‘aid.’ It is an infinitesimal downpayment on restitution owed Palestinians. The US remains Israel’s principal benefactor, and underwriter of Israel’s anti-Palestinian terror. US “aid” to Israel enables it to keep five million once-productive people destitute, leading lost lives in the squalor of scattered refugee camps, because they are the wrong ethnicity.
Marilyn Garson reviews Norman Finkelstein’s new book ‘Gaza: An Inquest Into Its Martyrdom’: “Finkelstein has set out to deconstruct the false narrative of war in Gaza, by refuting its component parts. One by one. Finkelstein is an author, activist and scholar with decades of archives and outrage to bring. ‘Gaza’ is one exhaustive act of witness.”
‘Why is it so important for indigenous people to maintain their identity? What is so bad with a particular way of life or culture disappearing?’ the lecturer at Macquairie University in Sydney asked 25 years ago. Now his student, Avigail Abarbanel, has the answer: Because colonialism entails a violent “policy of elimination” to overcome resistance.
Moshé Machover, a British-Israeli activist and member of the UK’s Labour Party, has prepared the following testimony in defense of Labour activist and co-founder of Britain’s Palestine Solidarity Campaign Tony Greenstein who will undergo a disciplinary hearing on January 25, 2018 over accusations of alleged anti-Semitic comments made online.
This February, Canada’s New Democratic Party will debate a resolution calling for the use of diplomatic and economic pressure to end Israel’s military occupation of Palestinian territories. Yazan Khader says Palestine solidarity activists must make use of this opportunity by attending the convention: “In the end, the proposal’s success will depend on the number of people in the room raising their hands to vote for it. So I invite you. In February, join us and raise your hand for Palestine.”
Rebecca Vilkomerson’s acknowledgment of Israel’s travel ban of Jewish Voice for Peace — “as we at JVP are now feeling the pain of exclusion, we are very aware that Palestinians have always faced profiling and bans on entry to Israel” — recalls Spinoza’s gracious acceptance of his excommunication by Amsterdam Jews in 1656. As history now shines on Spinoza, one day it will shine on Vilkomerson and JVP.
Zionism’s adherents see the ideology as a kind of ‘essence of life’, essential to the survival of Jews. Therefore the person who breaks with the ideology has betrayed a social contract, and by citing liberal values, has offended Zionists and made them feel lesser, Jonathan Ofir explains. No wonder the person who breaks often is socially ostracized or regarded with great mistrust.
Trump could have recognized Miami Beach as the capital of Israel, says Queens rabbi Yaakov Shapiro; but that is a political decision that has nothing to do with Judaism. “We have nothing to do with Israel. We are religious Jews… Israel is not my nation state in the slightest. This is a unilateral claim of the Zionists, and it’s an assault on my religion.”
Richard Falk writes that the proper priority for genuine advocates of peace between Israelis and Palestinians should be centered around apartheid rather than be devoted to reviving an Oslo style ‘peace process’ or proclaiming the goal of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state. He says this is not attainable without first dismantling the apartheid structures that subjugate the Palestinian people as a whole so as to maintain the Zionist insistence on Israel as the state of the Jewish people.